Ravens - Colts: post-game notes

TRAINING ROOM: Linebacker Ray Lewis said he fractured his wrist against the Colts on the RCA Dome turf, and will likely require a cast or splint on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.<br><br> Running back Jamal Lewis aggravated his sprained right ankle. Tight end Todd Heap was limping afterward with a sore ankle. And cornerback Chris McAlister aggravated a neck injury, and nickel back Deion Sanders' foot was aching.

"That surface is a hard, tough surface, and we're feeling it today," Billick said. "Checking with Ray, he seems to be OK. Whether he casts it or splints it, I think we're going to be OK.

"With Jamal, Todd and Deion with the nature of their injuries on that surface, that was our concern going in. I think we're OK. They're more sore than they would have been if they had been on a different surface, so we have to factor that in."

DEFENSE SHINES: Not only did the Ravens hold the high-scoring Colts to their season-low for points, they limited them to 314 yards of total offense.
Peyton Manning only threw one touchdown pass and is one shy of tying Dan Marino's single-season mark of 48 touchdowns.

However, quarterback Kyle Boller's two interceptions and McAlister being beaten deep by Marvin Harrison hindered the Ravens' cause.

"I thought our defense was magnificent in their ability to match up with the elite player in the league right now and they stepped up to that challenge," Billick said. "Not perfect, obviously, but they did a phenomenal job."

ACCOUNTABLE: Veteran kicker Matt Stover shared the culpability for his blocked 31-yard field goal try that smacked into the back of offensive guard Bennie Anderson.

Anderson was bull-rushed by Colts defensive tackle Larry Triplette back into Stover's trajectory.

"It was a combination of Bennie getting pushed back and me kicking it a little low," said Stover after missing his second field goal of the season.

Billick had a similar bottom-line take on the special-teams breakdown
"What do you do as a coach with that?" Billick said. "Snap it, place it, kick it better. It seems totally inadequate at the time, but that's the approach that you have to take."

APPRECIATION: Colts coach Tony Dungy opted to run out the clock despite having the football inside the 10, having Manning down it twice after linebacker Cato June's interception. Dungy was booed for his sportsmanlike gesture by Indy faithful eager for Manning to break the record.

"Tony and I have been friends for a long time, and I told him, 'See that good guy stuff doesn't do you any good, it just gets you booed by your own folks for being a classy good guy,'" Billick said, "'You ought to learn from me.'" They paid good money and ESPN probably had them all cattle prodded, they wanted that on prime time."

QUICK HITS: Jamal Lewis gained 130 yards on 20 carries, gaining 90 on 13 carries in the first half. Billick said the player's ankle wasn't an issue in him only carrying it seven times after halftime. "No, the game took on a certain personality and they were loading down the box," Billick said. "They were prepared to stuff Jamal and we were able to get the right call in behind it."

... The Ravens' secondary was assessed four illegal-contact penalties late in the fourth quarter, including two on one play. "That did not make any sense," said Sanders, who was penalized twice. "We were playing that physical the whole game. The referees do a great job, and I'm not going to criticize them or the job they did, but it's hard to understand on a drive like that with the game on the line, especially when the calls had nothing to do with the play." Added Billick: "I don't know if there was any agenda involved. It was questionable, not just in terms of the rule, but the way the game had been called the whole game. It was a little hard to understand." ... The overnight ratings for the game delivered a 9.2 rating and a 14 share, up 80 percent last year's Giants-Saints game.

... Rookie return specialist B.J. Sams eclipsed Jermaine Lewis' single-season record for total return yardage as he's up to 1,641 ahead of Lewis' 1,558

As well as a being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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